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Netters win final dual

The Raider boys' tennis team wrapped up the regular season with a dual record of 11-2 after defeating New Richmond, 6-1, Thursday.

The Raiders competed at the WIAA Division 1 subsectional Tuesday in Eau Claire. Qualifiers will move on to the sectional tournament Thursday in Stevens Point.

"I am very proud of what this team has been able to accomplish this season," head coach Jon Hilding said. "The seniors on this team need to be congratulated. Seniors Josh Szyman, Zach Blum, Joe Hanson, Saajan Bhakta, Stephen Hilding, Nick Yannarelly, Will Gaumitz and Ryan Hanes are all good examples of how hard work pays off.

"They improved their play each year and this year were joined by Vitor Linhares, who has proven to be a great teammate," the coach added. "As a result of their hard work and fine play, they proved the Raiders were one of the deepest and strongest teams in the area.

The Raider seniors played a big role in the team's latest win over New Richmond. Linhares won a 6-0, 6-1 decision at No. 1 singles and Blum picked up a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 3 singles while Bhakta earned a 6-0, 6-2 victory at No. 4 singles. Hilding and Hanson posted a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 2 doubles while Yannarelly and Hanes played t a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 3 doubles.

The Raiders' other victory came from Max Hawksford at No. 2 singles, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.

"This group of seniors can boast that they were the bulk of a team that finished second in the Big Rivers Conference for two straight years," Coach Hilding said. "However, even with the graduation of these fine players, the Raiders will still return a strong contingent. Juniors Eric Kromer, Jim Setzer, Ben Duerst, and freshman Max Hawksford all made significant varsity contributions this spring as well."

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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